tv [untitled] April 6, 2011 11:30am-12:00pm PDT
for years, we've been trying to answer the question of "where's the beef?" but for this ranching family in san luis obispo county, they know exactly where it is. in their own backyard. meet the nick family of nick ranch in the pozo valley. farming since 1918, the family is no stranger to livestock, having raised turkeys, pigs, and cow over several generations. but 7 years ago, family patriarch fred decided to try something different, grass-fed beef. >> we're a small, small family operation, and with this here, we felt that we could actually make a living if we did
it right. >> my dad's always been a very forward-thinking, uh, rancher and ahead of the trend. so i was onboard, although i think our neighbors and a lot of friends thought we were probably crazy. >> as the name suggests, grass-fed beef is ju that, cattle that grazes upon grass. so as important as raising the cattle is raising the grass. the concept may em simple now, but to these lifelong ranchers, going back to basics and ranching this way took some getting used to. >> it's a learning experience, takes a lot of, lot of time and a lot of trial and error. >> to me, i ca it evolution, and, you know, i--born and raised here, wanted to be a cowboy. now i'm a scientist. you know, we work with the soil
instead of the cattle. soil number one, grass, cattle. so it's all--all different frm where we thought we were gonna be, um, so that's the learning curve. >> the family came up with different ventures to try and sell their beef, one of them being a ground-beef sausage. instead of the usual ground-pork varieties, fred's daughter juanell came up with the idea to try the beef variety and in fun new flavors like french apple and garlic basil. but the family ultimately has the final say, as they taste-test all of the flavors before making a final group decision on what to market. then juanell's daughter johnnie takes it from there and creates recipes to use the sausages in. being a recent culinary grad, it's been fun for her to take the family product from the pasture to plate. >> now it*s just working out great, because my family's done the beef business, and now we're marketing our meat to sell, and it's just been great.
i get to cook with our own product that i've grown up with, and now i get to show everybody how great it is. >> but johnnie doesn't have to look far for customers. being the first organic grass-fed beef operation in san luis obispo county means garnering a lot of new fans, especiay in the culinary world, where they're always looking for new products from farmers and ranchers to spice up their menus. and that includes chef charlie. he discovered the products a few years ago thanks to a tip from a new employee, johnnie. >> people are lookin' up to the chefs right now as where to go with food. you know, having somebody who's into it, knows about it, who cares about it and nts to support someone local is really big, andt feels really good to know that my boss is supporting my family. ok, the reason that we chose to, um, prepare--prepare the items that went onto the pizza
and we used the prosciutto bacon in the sauce is it's a very lean piece of meat that they made the sausage with, so it's-- it's lacking the fat factor. and so what we did is we added a little bit of that into the sauce, a little bit of the extra olive oil. >> good food from good soil, and it all truly starts with good people willing to work hard so that can enjoy some good eats along the way. >> it's really important to me. for one, this is where i was born and raised, not only me, but my mom and my uncles. my grandpa was born and raised here. so it's pretty important to keep this going, and this is something that'good for people, so i feel really good about it, and it's just-- it's a happy thing.